Brigitte Dufour is the Director of International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR). She oversees the management and operations of the organization, represents the organization in international fora, and takes the lead on fundraising and program and partnership development. Based in Brussels, she is ideally located to carry out advocacy mandates before EU institutions.
A human rights lawyer, Brigitte holds diplomas in Law and in Linguistics and Russian Studies from the University of Montréal (Canada). She is a member of the Québec Bar (Canada). She began her legal career in the field of intellectual property and soon moved to international human rights law, an interest she developed during study visits in countries of the former Soviet bloc. Through her work for the Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights where she became the deputy executive director, she has led several international human rights projects and carried out numerous missions in the field, observing closely human rights developments and worked together with local human rights advocates on various key issues in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Brigitte possesses extensive experience in international advocacy, having represented human rights groups before UN bodies, the Council of Europe, European Union institutions and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She has contributed to numerous human rights publications.
Simon Papuashvili joined IPHR’s Brussels team in 2012. He works as project coordinator, managing projects implemented in cooperation with partner groups.
Simon holds diplomas in Law from Tbilisi State University (Georgia), in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), and in International Businesses Economics and Management from the University College of Brussels (Belgium). Simon has been active in promoting human rights in his native region of South Caucasus for over a decade while practicing law since 2001. From 2004 to 2006, he worked for the Georgian government in various positions, including coordination of the prison system reform (2004-2005) and representation before the European Court of Human Right (2005-2006). More recently, he was actively engaged in documenting human rights violations committed during the armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia, and advocating to end impunity in the region with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
Tinatin Tsertsvadze joined IPHR’s Brussels team in January 2015 as International Advocacy Manager. She maintains regular contacts with EU institutions, monitors EU policies towards Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries and coordinates advocacy actions targeting EU and other international institutions.
Before joining IPHR, she worked for four years at FRIDE, a European think-tank based in Brussels and Madrid, as Central Asia programme manager and conducted research and advocacy on EU policies towards Central Asia and the South Caucasus. She authored several publications on the EU’s human rights and democracy policies in these regions. Prior to that Tinatin briefly worked at the Open Society Institute in Brussels, and for the European Socialist Party, assisting in the 2009 European Parliament Election campaign. She was involved in the pan-European youth network AEGEE, and served one year as its Brussels director for European Institutions. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (specializing in European Studies) from the Georgian University (Georgia). (Photo credit: EUCAM/FRIDE).
Administration and Finance
Tarana joined IPHR’s Brussels team in May 2015 as Administration and Finance Manager. She provides administrative and financial support to the organization, including with respect to day-to-day operations and staff administration.
Tarana is a graduate of the Azerbaijan College of Finance and Economics. She previously worked for the Open Society European Policy Institute, the Open Society Foundations advocacy office in Brussels, then at the International Crisis Group in Brussels. She also worked as an interpreter for a social non-profit organization aiming at the integration of ethnic minorities. She speaks Azerbaijani, Russian, Turkish, French, and English.
Svetlana Kniazeva joined IPHR’s team in 2014. She assists with project administration and coordination.
Svetlana holds a degree in Management from People’s Friendship University of Russia, as well as a degree in Communication studies from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Previously she held several administrative positions in commercial organizations in Moscow. Svetlana is currently pursuing a degree in European Studies from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) with a focus on the EU’s external relations. She has also conducted research on freedom of expression in Russia and promotion of democracy by international actors in Eurasian states.
Research and Publications
Ann-Sofie Nyman is a founding member of IPHR. She works on research and publications together with partner groups of the organization. She also works on project development, review and reporting and contributes to internal program planning and implementation.
Ann-Sofie earned master’s degrees in Political Science from Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, US). As part of these degrees, she studied human rights and completed a program in Russian and East European Studies. Previously she worked for several years as researcher for the Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF). During her time with the IHF, she wrote and edited various publications on human rights developments in Europe, Central Asia and North America, including a number of thematic reports. Other experience includes research related work, inter alia, for a child rights NGO, a member of the European Parliament and a minority studies institute.
Research and Publications
Anne Sunder-Plassmann joined IPHR in 2014. She works on research and publications together with partner groups of the organization and contributes to IPHR’s advocacy and project reporting.
Anne studied in Bonn, Hamburg (Germany) and St. Petersburg (Russia) and earned a master’s degree in Eastern European History and Slavonic Studies from Hamburg University. Her thesis on perceptions of Stalin’s repressions since the beginning of Perestroika was published by the German LIT publishing house in 2002. From 1999 until 2014 she worked in the Eurasia team of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, first as Campaigner, then Researcher. She carried out extensive field-research in the South Caucasus and Central Asia on topics including the death penalty, domestic violence, persecution of dissidents and torture. She also engaged in human rights reporting, international advocacy and media work. Other professional involvements have included work for a Vienna-based NGO providing psychotherapy to torture victims and research and publications for other international human rights groups.
Research and Publications
Rachel started working for IPHR in 2015 and is currently responsible for IPHR’s publications work on Uzbekistan.
Rachel holds a Russian degree from Bristol University. She worked for the French humanitarian organization “EquiLibre” in Moscow, setting up an assistance program for refugees from outside the former Soviet Union, before joining the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) as project coordinator for Eastern Europe. During her eleven years at ECRE, Rachel ran a capacity-building program for refugee assisting NGOs in Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. She has also worked for over five years at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International first as a Campaigner (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan) and years later as Researcher (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan). She has researched and written reports on issues including refugee rights, extradition and forcible returns, the death penalty, fundamental rights and torture and undertook related international advocacy and media work. Rachel has also worked for other international human rights and refugee organizations including African and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) and the Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC).
Ksenia Balobolkina joined IPHR’s team as Administrative Assistant in March 2017. She is responsible for day-to-day office management and provides administrative, travel and financial support.
Ksenia graduated from Saint Petersburg University of Humanities and Social Studies and has a diploma in Social Studies and Culture. Before joining IPHR, she worked for nine years in different areas of Human Resources & Events Organization for Toyota Motor Russia in Saint Petersburg. She speaks Russian and English.
Maryna joined IPHR’s team in December 2015. She works on social media campaigning and layout of IPHR publications. She also works on outreach under a project on religious freedoms in Russia, which is jointly implemented by IPHR and the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis.
Maryna holds a master’s degree in Political Science from National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine). She has also studied EU-Ukraine relations at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (Germany) and is currently pursuing a degree in International Business, Economics and Management at Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).
Prior to joining IPHR’s team as Communications Consultant, Maryna completed an internship with IPHR and volunteered with IPHR’s Ukraine field mission. Previously she worked with the non-profit Ukraine Crisis Media Center in Kyiv, Ukraine.
She speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English and German.
Secretary of the Board
Josée-Anne Simard is Secretary of IPHR’s Board of Directors.
Josée-Anne holds diplomas in Law (LL.B from the University of Montréal and LL.M from the University of Geneva and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights). She also holds diplomas in Political Science (Certificate from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris) and in Human Rights (Certificate from the University of Geneva). She is a member of the Quebec Bar (Canada). After her studies in Montréal she worked in private practice, then as a staff lawyer for the Quebec Bar for seven years where she was Permanent Secretary for many Standing Committees in Criminal Law, Civil Law and Administrative Law. She lived in the United States, then moved to Switzerland, where she has been living since 1996. For over ten years, she was involved with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, as well as with fund-raising for a humanitarian association promoting community-based economic development in poverty stricken areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Treasurer of the Board
Natalia Taubina is Treasurer of IPHR’s Board of Directors.
Natalia has been working in the human rights field since 1992. She was first involved in the work of the Russian Research Center for Human Rights, she headed the Foundation for Civil Society in in 1997-2011, and she has been the Director of the Public Verdict Foundation since 2004. Her areas of expertise include: international human rights standards and mechanisms; human rights within law enforcement; torture prevention; civil society development; and NGO management.
Under Natalia’s leadership, the Public Verdict has become one of the most well-known, Russian human rights NGOs, although the operating environment for NGOs has deteriorated during this period. The organization focuses, in particular, on the provision of free legal assistance, rehabilitation support to victims of human rights abuses and efforts to promote transparency and accountability of law enforcement authorities.
Natalia has contributed to dozens of research projects and publications on a wide range of issues concerning the protection of human rights and the activities of NGOs. She has served as an expert for a number of non-profit foundations and international institutions.
Natalia was a member of the Expert Council of Russia’s Ombudsman in 2004-2016. In 2013, she received Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award and she is a laureate of the 2015 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.
In 1993, she graduated from the Faculty of Cybernetics of the Moscow Physics-Engineering Institute.
Member of the Board
Jacqueline Hale has spent the majority of her career in the NGO sector, specialising in human rights and civil society support.
She worked for a number of years as an analyst with the Open Society Foundations, overseeing work on Central Asia and the EU’s Eastern and Southern neighbourhood, and supporting a network of local civil society organisations dedicated to human rights, democratisation and accountability. Currently Head of EU Advocacy for Save the Children, she leads the organisation’s policy and advocacy towards the EU on humanitarian crises, as well as on multilateral processes. Jacqui is also co-Chair of the Human Rights and Democracy Network, a platform of 49 NGOs from across Europe working to promote and protect human rights. Jacqui is a graduate of Cambridge University in the UK, where she studied modern and medieval languages (MA, Cantab), and holds an MA with distinction in international relations from Sussex University.